Items posted on 19 July 2011
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Matthew 7.13-14, Acts 4.10-12 – Salvation
Posted: 19 July 2011 in Acts, Matthew

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Recently I have had an email correspondence with somebody who insisted that it was not “logical” that the majority of the people who ever lived would not be saved. And yet that is exactly what the passage from Matthew appears to assert. We need not like the truths the Bile reveals to us, or at least not all the time, but we do have to accept it – especially when it comes directly from the lips of Jesus himself.

The verses form Acts are, I suppose, even more disturbing, because they invite the question, “What about people who have never heard of Jesus?” Well, it is evident, from what is said elsewhere in the New Testament, that Jesus was expecting at least Abraham and some of the Old Testament prophets, to be present in heaven, but beyond that we must again allow ourselves to be bound by what God has revealed to us in the Bible. At least for those living in the post resurrection era, Jesus must have regarded faith in himself to be an absolute prerequisite for salvation, otherwise he would not have commanded his disciples to go out and preach in all the world. (If people who have never heard of him can be saved anyway, why bother?)

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